8 reasons for Britmums Live nerves


June 21, 2013 by talkaboutyork

I woke up at 4.40am today. Second day in a row. This could be sympathtic jetlag in support of my husband who has returned from the US West Coast and is now awake at ungodly hours and asleep with his face in his food at dinner. It’s nice.

But I could be up early today because I am going to Britmums Live. Nerves. It’s ridiculous really. I’m an ex-PR lovely darling type. I’ve attended countless conferences in my time. Had to make gratuitous small talk for hours and managed just fine. So why should this one make me nervous. Here are my reasons:

1. Unlike regular conferences where you don’t expect to know anyone and it’s perfectly ok to be anonymous, listen and leave, a blogging conference isn’t like that. It’s more like a high school reunion. A huge part of it is to catch up with bloggers you have met online.

2. Which bring me neatly onto point number 2. I have been blogging since 2008. That is a long time. In that time I should have made friends with lots of bloggers. And you know what, I have. But over time the group of bloggers I follow has shrunk. Many of those I would call ‘blog friends’ are not going. Thank goodness a handful are. I really don’t know many most of the finalists in the awards or the people who are commenting on Twitter about going. I feel a bit like Norman No Mates. Which is doubly annoying as I am not a ‘newbie’. I should be one of the old guard. But I’m mainly just old.

3. I worry that people I do know, who I have known for several years, may not know or remember me. And then you’re in that whole ‘Hi, nice to see you’ and they’re like, ‘Yeah, hi, um, who are you again?’ And even when they pretend to remember you, you can tell that they really don’t. That.

4. My main reason for going to the conference this year (I have been once before) is for the WRITE track which is covering a range of subjects relevant to people like me who are attempting to write a novel. Part of this is getting the opportunity to meet a literary agent and pitch your book idea. There are 28 slots. There are probably about a billion bloggers trying to get one. (perhaps not a billion but it feels that way). My chances of getting a slot of slim, but I really want one. This is making me anxious.

5. If I do get a slot and then I pitch them my book idea and they say, ‘Thanks for that. We’re now going to go shoot ourselves in the head because it is beyond awful.’ (They probably won’t say that. They’d be more polite. But you get my drift).

6. After the evening event, people tend to go off in groups out to dinner. Last time I went out with a bunch of expats, which was lovely. All the Americans ate pizza with their hands. The Brits all used a knife and fork. Being South African, I fell into the American camp on this particular issue. This time I have arranged no such thing. Because I am crap. And now I can imagine myself having a night to be out in London (woohoo!) and just going back to my hotel room and watching TV. Saddo alert.

7. Travel. I am 40 years old. I have lived in various countries around the world. I have sailed across the Atlantic frickin ocean. But when it comes to finding my way around London, I start to get heart palpitations. Pathetic.

8. There seems to be an inordinate amount of angst about what people are wearing and what colour they are painting their toes. I have not thought about this. Well, that’s a lie. Last night I looked in my cupboard and selected a dress that would allow me to not have to hold my stomach in all day. This has to be worn with sandals (which I can’t find) and I now apparently need to paint my toenails otherwise I am going to be a pariah with bad feet. And looking out the window, it is raining, which makes my entire outfit a bit inappropriate. But I can’t really think of what else to wear.

So fellow bloggers, if you are going to Britmums today and you see a woman who has bags under her eyes, poorly painted toenails, a summer maxi dress that is soggy around the ankles from walking through puddles, who is in all the WRITE tracks, is carrying a supersized London A to Z, looks slightly frazzled and is probably standing on her own wondering when blogging got to be so huge, that will be me. Come say hello. I probably won’t remember your name. You don’t have to remember mine. I don’t mind if you have never read my blog (although not sure how you would then know about this blog post…) and please don’t be offended if I haven’t read yours. I am sure it is brilliant. I just don’t have time to read them all.  And if you have no dinner plans, let’s start a singles dinner club. Like those people you see on Valentines’ Day.

Who’s in?


6 thoughts on “8 reasons for Britmums Live nerves

  1. Trish says:

    Got up early myself and your post popped up in my email. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in your first point about why we are more nervous about this conference than normal ones.
    I will look out for you and have a chat. We might even be on the same train coming down the east coast. My train, from Peterborough, gets in at 12.45 ish.

  2. HI Trish – my train gets in at 12.51. So I may well bump into you! Shall I carry a large sign 🙂

  3. judithkingston says:

    I am SO anxious about trying to get a slot with those agents as well! I am hoping ti will be very british and I just need to turn up early and queue, because if there is any requirement for being assertive or elbowing people out of the way I will fail. I will also be in the WRITE track things, with bags under my eyes (had 2 hrs sleep on the sofa – don’t ask) and I never paint my toes. See you there!

  4. barbedwords says:

    I’m new to blogging and only just discovered Britmums but sounds like it should be a great event and fingers crossed you get a slot to pitch your idea. Hope you have a fun time and your toenails stand up to scrutiny…

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